For some reason, some fans and analysts (and even fanalysts) are befuddled about the way the Seahawks have approached this offseason.
After Carlos Hyde was signed to a deal reportedly worth up to $4 million, the complaining really kicked in: Why have they squandered their cap space and not added any stars?
Seattle has spent $52 million on 14 veterans this offseason. None of them are standouts. None of them are the marquee pass rusher they really need. And none of them are signed for more than two years.
But, it’s no surprise. If you have watched the Seahawks for the past five years, you know this is how John Schneider does business now. He is very conservative and gets aggressive (via trades) only out of desperation.
The Seahawks have had a busy mid-May, and they’ve got a couple more things to do before training camp (hopefully) starts in July.
They left the draft needing a backup quarterback, a veteran running back, a run-stopping defensive tackle and — more than any of those — a top pass rusher.
In the past week or so — around Quinton Dunbar’s drama, Russell Wilson trade rumors and chatter about troubled receivers — they have brought back QB Geno Smith and added RB Carlos Hyde. That leaves the defensive line as the last area they need to address, unless Dunbar suddenly becomes unavailable due to incarceration or suspension.
The Seahawks have been NFL drama queens almost from the start of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era, so it’s never that surprising when some crazy news comes along.
But nothing ever done by the likes of rogues Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett or chuckleheads Leroy Hill, Percy Harvin, John Moffitt or Malik McDowell could top the situation Quinton Dunbar finds himself in.
Dunbar’s case (alleged robbery) is still working through the system, with conflicting reports (by the same people) of whether Dunbar was involved. We’ll keep following it and see how it turns out, but it certainly is one of the crazier crime stories ever related to the Seahawks. And they have had a few.
Once upon a time, the Seahawks had the NFL’s top-paid players (or close to it) at three defensive positions, along with the No. 2-paid quarterback.
In 2019, they made Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner the league’s top-paid QB and middle linebacker — but they have not been interested in paying anyone else in that stratosphere since 2017, when they gave Kam Chancellor another top-three deal.
They didn’t want to pay Earl Thomas and Frank Clark in 2019, and they don’t want to pay Jadeveon Clowney this year.
Basically, they don’t want to pay elite pass rushers. So they used Thomas and Clark to draft a few. And, like it or not, they are counting on those swaps to work out.
This spring, the NFL allows two hours of classroom work virtually for veteran players four days per week. The Seahawks as a team meet from 10 a.m. to noon PT four days a week, usually starting with a short team meeting and breaking down into smaller groups—the offense for some play installations, then maybe just the quarterback, tight ends and receivers, and then the tight ends, via video conference. The two-hour session is tightly controlled by director of team operations Matt Capurro, who flashes “time remaining” alerts on the screen as the last half-hour of the session winds down.
The scene: Seattle’s tight-end room, with two coaches and five veterans, stretches over three time zones and five states, connected by Zoom videoconference.
“Let Russ cook” has become an annoying mantra repeated by some fans the last couple of years.
It’s a nebulous decree. For some, it is a call for Seattle to just throw the ball 40 times a game. For the smarter ones, it is a more nuanced request for the Seahawks to let Russell Wilson stir the pot in his own special way, especially earlier in games.
At the Pro Bowl in February, Wilson said he was all in favor of the latter. He talked about going up-tempo more — something we have constantly called for in the first half, especially. He also apparently has discussed this with Pete Carroll.
Don’t get too excited, cooking fans, but it sounds like the coach might have listened, based on staff moves he made and a report that Seattle is indeed talking about letting Wilson work up some two-minute meals.
After the 2019 season ended, Pete Carroll said he wanted to keep his offensive line together.
“It is important,’’ Carroll said. “I hope we can keep our guys connected. I don’t want to see a big change there.’’
Well, that plan obviously changed: The Seahawks will have three, perhaps four, new starters in 2020. Only three other teams in the NFL apparently will undergo that much change up front. It’s a tough year to do that, too — with a pandemic impacting preparation time.